US spurs a 'hybrid' auto -- gas and electric

A team of leading automotive and technology companies from the United States, West Germany, and Japan has been organized to produce two advanced "hybrid" automobiles for the US Department of Energy, the General Electric Company has announced.

The experimental vehicles will have both a gasoline and an electric motor under the hood. They will run part of the time on gasoline, part of the time on batteries, and --simultaneously.

The GE Research and Development Center in Schenectady is prime contractor for the $8 million, 30-month project, which will see construction of a pair of four-door sedans seating five adults.

The hybrid has a 40-hp. electric motor, to be used primarily for speeds from zero to 30 miles per hour. The 80-hp. gasoline engine is intended for most highway driving. A microcomputer will control the overall vehicle operation.

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